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Saddle Trials

At Sprucewood, we know that finding the correct saddle for you & your horse can be a difficult process. That is why we offer saddle trials on every saddle we sell. We have a flat rate shipping charge of $50 on all saddles that we send to anywhere in Canada (some very remote areas might have a shipping surcharge - but we will inform you before we ship) When you receive your saddle, please feel free to give it a try! (Please note, that if you need to return your saddle, it must be in the same condition that it arrived to you...so if you wish to try out your new english saddle with stirrups - please order a set of leather protectors that will keep the flaps from getting marked. Western saddles - please wrap the stirrups in a plastic bag) Any saddles returned not in original condion will be assessed a 20% re-stocking fee).You have 5 days from the receipt of your saddle to try it out. If for whatever reason, you wish to return it - please pack it up carefully in its original packaging with a copy of the receipt. Then call or e-mail us to tell us how you would like us to handle the return... exchange, refund or store credit. We will then give you a return authorization number and shipping instructions for the package. Please be sure to add appropriate insurance to the package as we cannot be responsible for packages lost or damaged in transit. When we receive the returned saddle (with the approriate RA #) we will be happy to process your return as per your instructions. Sorry, we cannot accept COD returns. Please read the Saddle fitting tips below to help you with your purchase ... if you have any questions - please don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-304-TACK(8225)

Saddle Fitting

Correct saddle fit is essential for the comfort of horse & rider. Poorly fitting saddles can cause anything from your horse not being able to round, collect or extend as he should, to behaviour & resistance problems or in some cases, actual injury of your horse. While there are currently many saddle fitting "theories" out there, saddle fitting is not really that complex. Basically, you need to find a saddle that fits the shape of your horse's back. If you have a flat, wide horse you need to find a flat, wide saddle. The problem arises when the rider is not comfortable (or suited) to the type of saddle the horse requires & compromises are needed. That is why it is important to find a saddle shop that has a wide variety of saddle makes & models so that you can choose the best saddle for you & your horse.
Just as some people fit a Reebok shoe better than a Nike, some horses & riders fit different brands of saddles better than others. If you found that Reebok's were more comfortable, you would not go to a Nike store & have them pad & adjust a Nike to "fit" your foot, eventually the adjustments would shift & you would be uncomfortable again. Saddles were designed by their manufacturers to perform their best straight from the factory without after market alterations. Custom modifications are usually not required if the correct model of saddle is found. In the rare occasion that adjustments are needed, they are best done by having an experienced saddle fitter measure the horse & rider then having the saddle built to those specifications.

Here at SPRUCEWOOD TACK, we have South Western Ontario's largest selection of quality saddles. That, combined with our experienced staff & travelling saddle fitter with over 25 years experience, ensures that you find your perfect saddle solution. Please call for more information on our saddles or if you live in Ontario, to arrange a personalized in barn saddle consulation.

Below are some basic saddle fitting guidelines - should you have any questions please don't hestitate to give us a call.

Saddle Fitting Tips

With the saddle pad off & your horse on level ground, place the saddle on the horses back well up on the withers. Press down on the pommel & slide the saddle rearward until it stops at the proper resting place as dictated by the horse's conformation. This can be checked by running your hand along your horse's side about 6" below the wither. You will feel you hand "drop off" your horse's shoulder blade. Make sure to fit the saddle with the panels BEHIND this point. Many people place the saddle too far forward on the horse's back causing restricted shoulder movement & sore, pinched withers.

Girth up the saddle. Depending on the style of saddle, the cantle should be 1/2" to 3" higher than the pommel. The lowest part of the saddle should be the lowest part of the horse's back.

Stand behind your horse; you should be able to see daylight through the channel of the saddle. The saddle should not rest anywhere on the horse's spine.

There should be 11/2 to 4 fingers clearance between the pommel & your horse's spine. In general if you can fit more than 4 fingers under the pommel & the saddle appears to low behind, the saddle is too narrow & you need a wider tree. If there is not enough clearance under the pommel you need to have more flocking in the panels or more often a narrower tree. You can expect the pommel of a new saddle to settle as much as an inch once broken in so take this into consideration.

There should be no gaps between the panel & your horse's back. "Bridging" is a somewhat common problem & is caused by panels that conform to the horse's back at the front & the back but leave a gap in the middle of the saddle.

Remove the saddle & tack up again using a fairly thin & even saddle pad. When you try out your saddle have someone watch you from the ground. Your legs should hang straight down comfortably & the saddle should not appear to tip you forward or backward. Be aware that new saddles will be slippery & will not feel as secure as a used one as the flaps have not been broken in.

Check the pommel clearance again while mounted by sliding your hand under the front of the saddle, there still should be enough room for your horse to round his back while working. In some cases a "Mattes PM" 1/2 pad will help with wither clearance problems.

You must be extremely careful when buying a used saddle; it should immediately feel like "home" as it will probably not "break in" to fit you. Do not let anyone ride in your new saddle for a few monthes as it should be contoured to fit you.